When the Cleveland Cavalier’s lost 102-80 last night against the Los Angeles Clippers at the Staples Center, they felt more than just the sting of defeat. They also felt the dread of having to wait to hear if they had lost their star player, one of the best young talents in the NBA today, for the season. A season that would most likely become close to unbearable for Cleveland fans who at least had the luxury of watching their All-Star point guard almost every night this season, as their team sank further and further under .500. Curiously enough, in today’s Eastern Conference that puts them in third place in the Central Division and around 11th place in the Conference.
Irving exited the game Sunday night with an injury to his left bicep which occurred late in the game’s first quarter. He was taken out of the arena with his arm in a sling and is scheduled to undergo a MRI in Cleveland on Monday. Two NBA sources close to this story report that in reality Irving’s injury could actually be bad enough to end his season if it follows a worst case scenario.
Don’t expect the Cavalier’s to push Irving too much however, they might settle for a worst case scenario if it will ensure the future health of their young star. Although the Cavs are only 4.5 games behind the eight placed Atlanta Hawks who currently hold the last playoff spot, there are only 15 games left this season and expect that gap to extend during the time Irving does have to sit out.
Reporters say that Irving worked very hard in the offseason last year to prevent injuries like this one. So-called “freak-injuries” which he has been suffering since his time at Duke. Although he has only missed three games so-far this season, due to knee pain, he also had to play an extended amount of time with a broken nose which he suffered on Nov. 13.
Last year Irving missed 11 games for Cleveland when he suffered a fracture in his left index finger, three more when he hyperextended his right knee and nine when he sprained his AC joint. He also missed considerable time during his rookie season when he had a concussion and missed almost the entire year during his one season at Duke when he injured his toe.
Cleveland Cavaliers coach Mike Brown said after the game that Irving would be reevaluated on Monday and that he wishes he could be watching footage to make sure everything is ok. Teammate Jarrett Jack said that it was tough to see him go down and that he hopes the team can get him back as healthy as possible.
Irving did not speak to reporters following the conclusion of the contest, he left the floor with 2:20 to go in the first quarter. The Cavaliers were already down big at the point and the game continued to get out of control from there. The Clipper’s won their 11th straight but Cleveland lost something far bigger, possibly the use of their All-Star guard for the remainder of the year.
By Nick Manai